Goldberg is among the greatest wrestlers of all time and won several championships in his career at WCW between 1997 and 2001 and held the World Heavyweight Championship for 84 days in 2003. In addition, Paul Heyman inducted Goldberg in 2018 into WWE’s Hall of Fame.
His last match during his time at the WWE between 2003 and 2004 was against Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania XX. Since the fans already knew before the match that both superstars would leave the company after this fight, the fans inside Madison Square Garden booed them mercilessly.
We will now have a look at his career in the WWE since he returned in 2016 and discuss WWE’s plans for his current run.
His return and the feud with Lesnar
Goldberg returned in 2016 during an episode of RAW and began his feud with Lesnar. They faced each other at 2016 Survivor Series and Goldberg got away with a victory. We are used to the fact that the matches of Lesnar aren’t very long, but this clash was over after less than two minutes. Goldberg hit two Spears and a Jackhammer to finish the Beast off.
It was not clear if Vince McMahon chose this kind of match because Goldberg wasn’t able to work a long fight or if they just wanted to get him over to give him a title shot at Fastlane 2017 against the Universal Champion Kevin Owens. Maybe it was a mixture of both.
However, the fight against KO for the Universal Championship was even shorter than the match at Survivor Series just a few months before. After one Spear and one Jackhammer, Goldberg pinned Owens and became the new champion. All in all, these two matches combined didn’t take as long as an average squash match.
At Wrestlemania 33, Goldberg fought against Lesnar one more time for the Universal Championship. Goldberg delivered four Spears and one Jackhammer but Heyman’s client was able to kick out and then Goldberg visited Suplex City. After an additional F5, the Beast was able to win the Universal Championship. The match took about five minutes, but it was noticeable that Goldberg reached his physical limit at the end of the fight.
It was also a bit surprising that the audience started the ‘Yes’ chants when Lesnar kicked out and from there on cheered for the Beast. That’s remarkable since Lesnar was the heel and Goldberg was the face. Heyman and his client aren’t among the favourite superstars of the WWE Universe. However, this reaction by the visitors of the Camping World Stadium showed that the fans weren’t happy with that run of Goldberg. Of course, everyone was excited to see his entrance and gimmick but his in-ring performance was awful, but it wouldn’t be the last time that he steps foot into a WWE ring.
Destroying the legacy
During his run in 2016 and 2017, Goldberg didn’t impress the fans. They were disappointed by his performances and the short matches in which he didn’t seem fit and confident at all. Especially the young fans who have never watched him during his great time at the WCW and WWE back in the 90s and in the early years of this millennium don’t understand why he got such a big push.
Most of the fans hoped that it would be last time that the icon stepped foot into a WWE ring since, with such performances, his good reputation was ruined.
However, since reportedly AEW was interested to sign him, WWE was forced to offer him another deal. Also, the Saudi Arabians wanted to see a match between the two great legends Undertaker and Goldberg. And, as we all know, they pay the WWE a lot of many for these events. In light of this, it was logical that we would get this match at WWE’s Super Showdown.
In general, this is a real dream match but since the Undertaker is 54 years old and Goldberg is 52 years old this promised to have the potential to be absolutely horrible. Everyone expected this to be a fight with finisher after finisher because both superstars aren’t able anymore to work long matches.
However, it was the main event of the Super Showdown and maybe one of the worst main events in the history of WWE. It’s one thing when wrestlers don’t work well together but, in this match, both made so many mistakes that it was extremely dangerous. Goldberg tried to make a Spear into the corner, but Undertaker got out of the way and he just went straight into the ring post and started to bleed at the top of his head.
He seemed to have been knocked out but kept on going and the match got worse with every single second. Goldberg tried to execute the Jackhammer but wasn’t able to carry the Undertaker who fell onto the floor headfirst, which looked absolutely horrifying.
Then these two legends tried to execute the iconic reverse Tombstone Piledriver but weren’t able to do it and just fell onto the floor. The Phenom realised that this match had to end and so he just delivered an incredibly bad Chokeslam and pinned his opponent.
When the cameras went off, WWE officials had to help Goldberg to go into the backstage area. This match ruined the legacy of Goldberg far more than his matches against Lesnar and Owens. Besides, it was of course also not good for the reputation of the Undertaker.
Reportedly WWE planned that Goldberg should have five matches during this run. Although, after this match, the majority of the fans just hoped that they would stop. But then Summerslam approached and suddenly he was back and announced that he would fight against Dolph Ziggler at the so-called biggest event of the summer.
It was a quite clever pairing by WWE since Ziggler can put his opponents over like no one else. And Goldberg needed to look strong after this horrible match against Taker. As you would expect, Ziggler lost the match after some minutes to put Goldberg over but it’s still questionable how they want to work with him in near future.
What’s next for him?
It will be interesting to watch if Goldberg will really be in three other matches within the next year or so. Everyone knows that he’s not able anymore to work longer matches. In light of this, every match will be exactly the same. One or two Spears and then a Jackhammer to finish the opponent off. However, it’s questionable if we, the fans, really want to see these matches.
Maybe it would be just the best idea if he retires. He’s physically not able anymore to work clean matches and so it’s dangerous for him and his opponents. And besides, he loses more of the recognition which he truly deserves for his incredible career.